The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) has officially opened at The University of Western Australia, with the aim to bring together a database for information about WA’s enormous variety of animals and plants.
The Institute, launched by Premier Colin Barnett, will house the State’s biggest collective of data about Western Australia’s unique and enormously diverse flora and fauna as part of a strategic approach to develop new knowledge platform for better policy decisions and ongoing management of WA’s terrestrial diversity.
WABSI is a co-operative project between founding members: The University of Western Australia, Curtin and Murdoch Universities, CSIRO, the West Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Western Australian Museum, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. All have contributed financially towards setting up the Institute.
Chair of the WABSI Steering Committee, UWA Emeritus Professor Alan Robson, said the mining companies would be just one source of vital information to the database.
“Sometimes the mining companies are the only ones who have gathered facts on plants and animals in WA’s more remote places,” he said.
“Rather than locking away this important information, the aim is to make it publicly accessible. In the future anyone will be able to access the WABSI database, which will also help costly duplication of survey work.”
“It’s a great step towards conserving and managing WA’s unique biodiversity”.
David Stacey (UWA Media Officer) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716